There aren’t many occasions in the year, unless you’re a socialite or celebrity, to wear a fancy party dress. (Unless you’re the perpetual bridesmaid, in which case you’d probably rather have a hot poker in your eye than wear another beige satin frock.)

For most of us, the holidays mean a rare occasion to, in Drake’s well-chosen words, get your “nails done, hair done, everything did.” To top it off, we get to slip into a great holiday party dress.

In our humble opinion, holiday parties warrant more than just a simple LBD but that’s not to say they won’t do. For a Christmas party, the more sparkle, glitter and brocade in an outfit, the more points you get with the celebration gods this season.

We totally get it. Your mind is a bit fuzzy from shopping for holiday office party dresses. If you don’t know where to start, we’re here to help with some celebrity inspiration.

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  • Embellished - Lily Collins

  • Sequins - Jessica Chastain

  • White - Leighton Meester

  • Traditional English Fabrics - Sofia Bush

  • Feathers- Lea Michele

  • Lace - Michelle Williams

  • Faux Fur-Trimmed - Audrina Patridge

  • Tartan - Chloe Moretz

  • Sweater Dress - Cameron Diaz

  • Brocade - Demi Moore

  • NEXT: Holiday Office Party Dresses

  • Mod Dress - Emma Stone

  • Slip Dress - Victoria Beckham

    Designer Victoria Beckham, right, arrives to watch Andy Murray of Britain face Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the Men's singles final match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Sunday, July 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

  • ‘50s Style - Kiernan Shipka

    Kiernan Shipka arrives at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre on Sunday Sept. 22, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

  • Lace - Aubrey Plaza

  • Leather - Lake Bell

  • Shapes/Prints - Lena Dunham

    Lena Dunham arrives at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre on Sunday Sept. 22, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

  • Caped - Cameron Diaz

  • Anything Emerald - Solange Knowles

  • Winter White - Amy Poehler

  • ‘20s Influence - Carey Mulligan In 'The Great Gatsby'

  • NEXT: Winter Fashion Essentials

  • Peplum Top

    Ashley Madekwe dressed up a pair of jeans with a embellished peplum top.

  • Metallic Coat

    Actress Evangeline Lilly arrives at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Inaugural Gala wearing a red-bronze metallic blazer.

  • Brocade Dress

    Jennifer Lawrence arrives at the 38th Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards wearing a gold and white brocade dress with asymmetrical hemline.

  • Winter White

    Model and actress, Molly Simms wears a flattering white dress at the Los Angeles Fashion Show & Dinner.

  • Plaid Scarf

    Kate Middleton rocks tartan paired with a red coat.

  • Riding Boots

    Who knew riding boots and a flashy sequin dress paired so nicely? Taylor Swift performs in an odd pairing that just works!

  • Tweed Skirt

    French actress Virginie Ledoyen wears a slimming tweed skirt to the Chanel show during Paris Fashion Week.

  • Toggle Coat

    “Vampire Diaries” actress Nina Dobrev wears a festive red toggle coat with ex-boyfriend, Iam Somerhalder, as they shop for a Christmas tree.

  • Fingerless Gloves

    Madonna sports a pair of fingerless gloves while hanging with Steven Tyler during the Stella McCartney Spring 2014 show.

  • Pumps

    Designer Lauren Conrad looks darling in a black mini dress, tights and pumps as she attends the D&G Flagship Boutique Opening in support of The Art of Elysium.

  • NEXT: Fall Coats To Take You Through Winter

  • Trench Coat

  • Trench Coat

  • Trench Coat

  • Trench Coat

  • Trench Coat

  • Trench Coat

  • Trench Coat

  • Leather Motorcycle Jackets

  • Leather Motorcycle Jackets

  • Leather Motorcycle Jackets

  • Leather Motorcycle Jackets

    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Karolina Kurkova attends Brooks Brothers and Town & Country with The Cinema Society host a screening of 'The Great Gatsby' at HBO Screening Room on May 7, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

  • Leather Motorcycle Jackets

  • Leather Motorcycle Jackets

  • Leather Motorcycle Jackets

  • Think Pink

  • Think Pink

  • Think Pink

  • Oversized Coats


If you’re the type who likes to stop people in their tracks, the Paula Ko LBD that actress Lily Collins recently wore will not just stop people, it will actually trip them and say, “look at me!!!” A show-stopping embellishment like a huge white satin bow is perfect for a holiday gala where black tie is the dress code.


The best time to wear sequins is on New Year's Eve and when you’re hosting a holiday party. (The hostess always gets to stand out more than her guests, right?) Actress Jessica Chastain wore a festive Chanel sequin dress that would make any holiday party hostess shine. Not only does her couture frock sparkle but the diagonal stripes take it a step above any old sequined dress. So if you're looking to find that razzle dazzle without the boredom, look for a dress that has uses the sequins in unexpected patterns.


If you’re attending a wedding, wearing white can be dicey but for the holidays it's more than appropriate.

Try going entirely snow white with a dress like this one worn by former “Gossip Girl” actress, Leighton Meester. Meester’s white Calvin Klein number would look lovely with a festive pair of patterned nylons or boots to keep your legs warm.

If you do decide to wear white, be careful not to booze it up so much that you’re sloshing your eggnog all over your pristine dress. Hello, dry cleaning bill!

Traditional English Fabrics

Houndstooth and tweed have a decidedly festive quality because they just make you look fancy and dressed-up. “One Tree Hill” actress Sofia Bush wore a great houndstooth sheath that would make for the perfect holiday party dress. We suggest adding a little embellishment like a brooch for some extra seasonal sparkle or a red patent clutch for a pop of colour.


Trust us, you want to wear a dress with feather embellishments like this navy beauty, worn by “Glee” actress Lea Michelle. An elegant plume could potentially keep your tush warm and more importantly, how regal do feathers look? We encourage you to swish them around while dancing to your favourite holiday remix of "Jingle Bells."


The art of wearing lace is as delicate as the fabric itself. If worn incorrectly, you could unintentionally give the wrong impression to fellow partygoers. Due to the boudoir-ish nature of lace, the fine fabric tends to look classier when less cleavage is visible and leg slits are kept to a minimum.

Michelle Williams looked chic and respectable in this red Erdem A-line lace dress, which is highly recommended for any holiday gathering.

Faux Fur-Trimmed

While fur is generally best for cold winter nights outside, a cute faux fur-trimmed dress à la Mrs. Claus can be worn as a joke to a fun holiday party where anything goes with the dress code.

Former “The Hills” star Audrina Patridge wore the perfect fur-trimmed Santa dress for an occasion such as this! (Or, save this sexy outfit one for a private holiday party with your significant other.)


You can’t go wrong with a tartan dress during the holidays, especially if it looks anything like the one worn by multiple celebrities like Chloe Grace Moretz, Emma Watson and Rihanna. The Alexander McQueen tartan frock with a dramatic full skirt is perfect if you want an outfit with a bit more edge. Pair it with a leather jacket as Watson does or studded heels for a Mrs. Claus-gone-wild look.

Sweater Dress

Sometimes you don’t want to suck in your tummy all night or worry about busting the seams on your dress when sitting down. In that case, you want to opt for a sweater dress like the ones worn by Nicole Richie and Cameron Diaz. Note how they don’t look the least bit frumpy. It’s all in the styling and a great pair of heels goes a long way to creating a polished look.


Brocade is another one of those fabrics that are made for holiday party dresses because it has no use for other embellishments or flashy accessories.

Actress Demi Moore wore a fitted gold-and-black brocade dress that only required a simple black clutch and black pumps to complete the look.

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